fear of failure

Did you know that roughly 21.4% of the adults in the United States have a mood disorder? Things like bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and depression can be hard enough to deal with on their own.

But, when you combine them with certain types of phobias, they become debilitating. One of these phobias is the fear of failure, or atychiphobia.

If you think you struggle with this phobia, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll teach you more about it and give you some advice for overcoming it in your life.

What is Atychiphobia?

Atychiphobia is the specific fear of failing. You will often see this fear arise as part of a mood or anxiety disorder. However, it’s also common for perfectionists and people with eating disorders.

The symptoms of atychiphobia can range from mild to severe. In many cases, it can bring up feelings of powerlessness, detachment, and panic. More severe cases can bring up panic attack symptoms.

This includes difficulty breathing, elevated heart rate, sweating, trembling, and tightness in your chest.

In extreme cases, this phobia can completely paralyze you in fear. This can make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks like school, work, or home care.

It’s not uncommon to see people with a fear of failure self-handicap themselves. This is when you’re so scared of failing that you deliberately sabotage things.

For example, if you have a big project coming up in school or work, you might not start it. Doing so causes you to fail. But, the idea in our heads is that this is better than putting in work only to fail.

There are lots of different causes of atychiphobia. But, it’s common to see it in people who’ve had past experiences where they’ve failed. You will also see it a lot in perfectionists.

How Do You Overcome Fear of Failure?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to overcoming the fear of failure. But, whatever method of treatment you choose, the main goal should be to improve your quality of life.

This may involve introducing coping techniques to manage symptoms when your atychiphobia acts up. In some cases, an individual may be able to completely overcome their fear.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the different methods and strategies you’ll likely encounter on your treatment journey.

1. Going to Therapy

Therapy is usually one of the go-to ways to treat atychiphobia. Studies show that therapy is effective at reducing anxiety and depression. It can help with phobias like atychiphobia as well.

A therapist will give you a controlled environment where you can safely be exposed to your fears. Gradually, the therapist will expose you to more.

The idea here is that you will eventually learn coping methods that can aid in changing your response to these scenarios. Just keep in mind that you likely won’t find a therapist specializing in specific phobias.

Instead, look for a more general one. If your fear of failure is making you anxious, look for an anxiety therapist. Or, if it’s making you inactive and unresponsive, consider one who specializes in depression.

2. Making Lifestyle Changes

One way to get over your avoidance of failure is to get to the root of the anxiety surrounding it. Many different mindfulness exercises can help you accomplish this.

However, meditation and deep breathing exercises seem to be the most effective. Make sure to incorporate these into your day somehow. If you can, you should also try to exercise.

Physical activity is a great way to reduce the stress and anxiety that are associated with atychiphobia.

3. Redefining Failure and Success

People with a fear of failure often see the act of failing as an end-of-the-world scenario in their heads. This is a problem because failure happens to even the best of us.

So, it’s not a matter of if you will fail, but rather what will your mindset be when it occurs. A new relationship with failure begins by seeing it in a new light.

Maybe you can try thinking of failure as feedback for improvement. Or, you can take it as a new challenge to overcome. The same thing can be said of success. Many people glorify success until they attain it.

Then, they’re miserable. Success is not the end goal, just like failing isn’t an ending. They’re just different points that everyone will encounter in their lives.

4. Boosting Your Self-Esteem

We tend to focus on our shortcomings instead of our strengths. This causes the problem of lowering our self-esteem, which makes people even more afraid of failure.

So, improve your self-esteem by reminding yourself of all the things you’re good at. Make a list of your accomplishments, traits, and skills. This self-confidence can go a long way when you’re gripped in fear of failing.

5. Give Yourself Permission to Fail

This tip might seem silly, but it can be quite liberating. When people with atychiphobia picture failing, they usually imagine the world ending. When you fail, the world will keep spinning.

You’ll still be breathing and your loved ones will still care for you. It’s certainly not a pleasant experience. But, it’s not the worst-case scenario you’re painting in your brain.

So, if you have a big test or presentation coming up, tell yourself it’s all right to fail. You can always get them next time.

Need Video Therapy? Contact Optimistic Counseling

We hope this article helped you learn more about overcoming the fear of failure. Sadly, it’s often women who feel atychiphobia most acutely.

Whether it’s in our personal lives or professionally, we need to reach a certain metric of success to not be failures. If you’re ready to break free from this perfectionist mindset, Optimistic Counseling is for you.

We provide online therapy resources that will help you rediscover success on your terms. Make sure to contact us today to learn more.